By Oliver Lazenby
Blaine High School graduate Andrew Price could be playing in the NFL regular season in a few weeks. The 6-foot, 6-inch, 255-pound former Borderite tight end signed an undrafted free agent contract last week with the Detroit Lions.
Price, who graduated from Blaine High School in 2012, was one of several recent acquisitions the Lions made to bolster their lineup after a string of injuries. Price played 45 games and caught 37 passes for 445 yards and four touchdowns in college at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. He graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Kinesiology.
He’s currently one of nine tight ends on the Lions’ roster. The team signed so many because it plans to use play formations with multiple tight ends this year and because the team’s first, second and third tight ends have all missed preseason games with injuries, according to Mlive.com, a Michigan news site.
Price was the eighth of nine tight ends to sign with the team and, according to the Lions’ website, he was one of only three healthy tight ends at practice on Thursday, August 17, the day after he signed with the team. Price played with the team in a preseason win over the New York Jets on Saturday, August 21.
Being an undrafted free agent means Price didn’t get the call into the NFL as a draft pick, but was signed later on during training camp. He’ll have to work hard to prove himself in practice and during the preseason. But it’s not uncommon for undrafted free agents to become valuable players. Current Seahawks starters Michael Bennett and Doug Baldwin both started this way.
As a Borderite, Price earned First Team All-Northwest Conference honors during his junior and senior years as a tight end.
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter addressed the team’s tight end situation in a televised interview on Tuesday, August 22.
“There’s still a lot of competition going on for what’s going to happen with this roster at that position,” Cooter said. “But we are encouraged. We’ve seen some encouraging things from different guys.”
Price has a backup plan if the NFL doesn’t work out. He told the Bellingham Herald in April that he plans to go to medical school when he can no longer play football.